Friday, January 19, 2018
What to watch today
On Friday, the first week of earnings season will conclude with a few big reports from the financial sector as well as some updates from major industrial names. Headline earnings reports expected Friday are due out from Synchrony Financial (SYF) — the financing arm spun out from General Electric (GE) in 2014 — SunTrust (STI), Schlumberger (SLB), and Kansas City Southern (KSU).
Both Schlumberger and Kansas City Southern’s calls will be notable for potential commentary on the oil industry from Schlumberger and any color on how corporates are viewing a potential change in NAFTA from Kansas City Southern, a company as sensitive to the Mexican economy as any.
On the economics side, the week will finish up with a reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown: A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being deported. Democrats in the Senate have served notice they will filibuster a four-week, government-wide funding bill that passed the House Thursday evening. [AP]
IEA sees ‘explosive’ growth in U.S. oil output as prices rally: The growth can potentially offset a further collapse in Venezuela’s production, the International Energy Agency said. The agency is joining a chorus of voices from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and OPEC’s own analysts in warning of a surge in U.S. production as oil hits three-year highs. Output cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have been successful in eroding bloated stockpiles, and yet they risk becoming a victim of their own success . [Bloomberg]
White House considers Fed’s Williams for vice chair: Long-time Federal Reserve insider John Williams has been interviewed by the White House for the post of vice chairman of the U.S. central bank, according to a person familiar with the discussions, though he was not viewed as being on the short-list for the job. [Bloomberg]
With tax savings, some employers will boost 401(k) contributions: A growing number of companies plan to use some of the savings they expect to realize from the tax overhaul to boost their contributions to employees’ 401(k) retirement-savings accounts. About a dozen companies, including Visa Inc. (V) and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., have announced plans to raise the payments they make to match employee contributions to 401(k) accounts. [The Wall Street Journal]
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